Digital hangouts

With apps like Houseparty, Oculus Rooms in virtual reality, or the increasing use of second screens we can observe what Business Insider names “digital hangouts”. Digital hangouts are about digital live togetherness.

Virtual living rooms in Houseparty (Source)
Virtual living rooms in Oculus Rooms (Source)
Virtual living rooms in Oculus Rooms and Houseparty (from left to right; Sources: Oculus Rooms, Houseparty)

One of the reasons why people like these “digital hangouts” is because it is an entirely natural behavior rooted in our preference for instant feedback to ideas or questions. Just consider study groups or people bouncing off ideas with co-workers. I can imagine that the almost instant access to the internet on Google Home or Amazon Alexa will further enforce this tendency. Eventually, we will want even more instant access to the web and people than we have today. Hearables can provide us with both. Through direct access to voice-assistants (with AirPods, for example, you only have to double-tap one side to activate Siri) we will get instant access to the internet. Sony Anytime Talk is one example for instant access to people.

As far as I know, Sony’s Anytime Talk, is the first chat app developed exclusively for a headphone. It allows you to create voice-based group chats with Xperia Ear users (Sony’s hearable) to whom you can talk at any time as long you are in the group chat (similar to a phone conference).

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